tv U.S. Senate CSPAN February 17, 2011 12:00pm-5:00pm EST
weekend and with it the vital access key so so many colombian parters in. we're failing colombia at the worst of all possible times as it is struggling to recover from massive flooding. i saw with my own eyes the massive flooding where hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. they have been devastated. the estimated cost to rebuild is several billion dollars. but it's even worse than that. not only has this congress denied colombians vital trade preference at this time when their country is under water, it has a continued failure to ratify the colombian free trade agreement. this amendment mainly benefits us, leveling the playing field for workers seeking access to colombian markets. withbut the signal of the stratc commitment that it sends to colombia can't be understated.
by failing for five straight years now to pass the colombia free trade agreement, we are sending the opposite signal that the united states is an unreliable and untrustworthy ally. that we seem to be incapable of rising above our own domestic political difference toss consolidate our strategic partnership with one of our best friends in the world. it's just sad. no trade agreement. a time of great need due to a natural disaster. and how has the congress responded and the administration? by failing to extend critical trade preferences for colombia and our other andean friends. they kicked an ally while they are down, right when they need us most. colombian officials tell me that without these trade preferences, their cut flower industry, which is one of the pillars of the colombian economy, would contract by 15% to 20% in the coming weeks. now is the time to right this wrong. now is the time to come together
and extend the trade preference act by itself on its own and on its merits, just as congresses before us have done. this legislation will do that. it will extend the privilege market access for our andean friends until november 30 of next year. after we have invested so much in the success of the andean region, investments that have earned us enormous goodwill and gratitude, why would we do anything to call our friendship into question? why would we do anything that harms our allies? we cannot afford not to extend the andean trade preference act. let me also explain to my colleagues, just before we went out of session last year, we made an agreement, and the senator from ohio who i see on the floor was one of the negotiators, that the trade adjustment assistance would be extended along with the andean trade preference act. the interesting thing about that
extension is that it was not only an extension of the trade adjustment assistance as it was prior to the stimulus being passed, but also after. in other words, the trade adjustment assistance had gone back -- had gone up to some some $2.6 billion. an additional $620 million for the remainder of this year. so it's in existence today with a billion dollars being spent on various programs, and there is a g.a.o. study that -- that severely questions these multiple employment and training programs that are in being today. they talk about the $18 billion spent to administer 47 programs,
an increase of three programs and roughly $5 billion since they last reported. so what i'm asking my colleagues who are supportive of the t.a.a. was -- is to agree to an extension of the andean trade preference agreement in return for a -- our extension, our agreement to extend the trade adjustment assistance at the level of prestimulus. the stimulus was supposedly and advertised as a one-shot deal. so why should we increase trade adjustment assistance in keeping with the enactment of the stimulus package? can't we go back now that the stimulus is supposedly over, can't we go back to previous levels of adjustment assistance? and i want to make the record perfectly clear, we are not in
this proposal killing off trade adjustment assistance. it is in being as we speak today. we are saying we don't want the increase that was put in in 2009 as a result of the stimulus package. you know, mr. president, we don't -- things are not great in our western hemisphere. we have got a return of danny ortega to nicaragua. we have hugo chavez continuing to consolidate power in venezuela. we are seeing nations, and i won't enumerate them, that are becoming more and more dictatorial, totalitarian and antiamerican. so when we don't extend the atpa, a signal to our friends and our adversaries in the region is very clear. you can't count on the united states of america to keep its
solemn agreements negotiated and ratified by republican and democrat presidents and congresses. i -- i understand and appreciate and respect the senator from ohio, the senator from pennsylvania, the senator from montana and their dedication to trade adjustment assistance. now, i am not seeking to end t.a.a. we are seeking to leave t.a.a. at its previous level prior to the stimulus package being enacted. i don't understand, i don't understand why that shouldn't be sufficient in this era of huge deficits and debts. so i would ask my friend from ohio and those on the other side of the aisle who oppose a long-term -- who oppose the
andean trade preference act being extended, that we would agree, we would agree to the extension of the trade adjustment assistance only at the level that it was before. isn't that reasonable? isn't that reasonable? it's a billion dollars a year. it's a billion dollars a year that's going to be allowed under the t.a.a. so i -- i also again, as i began my comments, i understand there is a lot of things going on in the world, there is a lot of things going on domestically, there is a lot of things happening, but shouldn't we -- shouldn't we pay attention to our friends, our little friends who helped us so much in this war on drugs, who if they had become as they nearly did ten years ago a failed state, the cons to united states national security would have been
profound? we are watching the violence in mexico and we are alarmed by it, including the death of a d.e.a. agent and wounding of another one just the last couple of days in mexico. my friends, that was a sunday school picnic compared who was going on in colombia before plan colombia, before we helped them with the andean trade preference agreement, and i urge my colleagues to please considerate least a short-term extension of this atpa and along with the baicial t.a.a., at least to give these people an opportunity to recover from the devastation that they have experienced. so i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s. 380. i ask unanimous consent that the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table, and that any statements relating to the bill appear at this point in the
record. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. brown: madam president, reserving the right to object. mr. mccain: madam president, i yield the floor. mr. brown: madam president, reserving the right to object. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: thank you, madam president. i know the presiding officer, the junior senator from north carolina, agrees, wants to be part of the t.a.a. extension. i appreciate that as senator casey and senator mccain and senator baucus. my problem is i want to work with senator mccain on this, i want to make this work, i want to extend the andean trade preferences. he and i worked this agreement out with senator kyl, senator casey and others at the end of last year in the last two hours of session, i think. senator mccain, i think that was the time line right at the end. we were able to extend all of this but only six weeks. he wanted longer, i wanted longer, we couldn't get an agreement there, but he asked if it's not reasonable, is it not reasonable just to extend the
old t.a.a.? the old t.a.a. started 50 years ago, it was a great program, it was bipartisan, it has always been that, but it's not reasonable to do only the old t.a.a. there have been 150,000 workers who are eligible since the recovery act passed for the expanded t.a.a. because they happen to have lost their jobs to countries that we didn't have a free trade agreement with. they weren't eligible under the old one. they are eligible under the new one. they happen to be service workers. they are eligible under the new one but not under the old one. madam president, it's a situation where because of things we do in this body, we pass a trade agreement, people lose their jobs. we have an obligation, i know people are focused on government spending as we should be and on the deficit as we should be, but this is an action of the house and senate. we pass tax policy here. we give tax breaks for companies that move overseas. why don't we pay for this t.a.a. with something like that? we could always do that. the point is that there are so
many workers in this country that have lost their jobs because of trade agreements, because of tax law and trade law, they should be eligible for getting some assistance so they can go back -- so they can get retrained and go back to work. we all know people in our states, in arizona, nevada, oregon, texas, west virginia and ohio where that's happened. the other thing that we need to extend is the health care tax credit. we know that literally thousands of workers -- i can give you some examples real quick. 400 americans in arizona, 1,400 americans in arizona, mostly delta workers, 1,600 americans in michigan, 9,200 americans in ohio, 68,000 americans scattered around every other state in this country. because of the recovery act, the expansion of the health care tax credit, they are -- they would be able to continue to get their health care. so, madam president, with reluctance, i -- i don't want to do this because i want to see the andean trade preferences extended, so but i am going to
object, madam president. the presiding officer: objection is heard. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: all i can say is that to my friend from ohio, we have deep sympathy for the plight of the citizens of ohio who have been very hard hit in this economic disaster that this nation has undergone in the last couple of years, and there has been enormous loss of jobs and income on the part of the citizens of ohio and particularly that part of the country. i would also argue that my home state of arizona has suffered rather dramatically as well. but does it really make sense to dramatically increase any program at this particular time? what we are already spending is
is $1 billion a year. that seems to be a significant amount of money. i would also point out that a lot of these training programs have drawn scrutiny and even criticism from the -- from the g.a.o., and this criticism has been really kind of telling. in other words, it says in fiscal year 2009, nine federal agencies spent $18 billion to administer 47 programs, an increase of three programs and roughly $5 billion since they reported in 2003. so i don't think that you could see tangible benefits from the trade adjustment assistance, but we are willing, i say to my friend from ohio, to continue to
support a billion dollar program per year for trade adjustment assistance when we are slashing vital programs to -- that people know are -- are far -- we're all having to make sacrifices. can't my friend from ohio be satisfied with $1 billion for trade adjustment assistance? and again, i just want to say i -- we really do have problems in our hemisphere. we really do have the brazillians striking out on an independent course. we have venezuela, nicaragua, ecuador, bolivia. we have these countries that are looking on us as either an adversary or an enemy, depending on which country you're talking about. so the message that we're sending here by not at least extending this agreement i think is a terrible one, and i would ask again that my friend from ohio would reconsider.
i also want to say a word, the white house -- the president of the united states and the white house should be weighing in on this. the president of the united states has said that he wants the korea free trade agreement and we want the -- quote -- colombian and panamanian free trade agreement as well. well, if they want that, shouldn't they want to extend the trade preferences that was negotiated by president bush, extended under president clinton? shouldn't we want that? and republican and democrat congresses alike. i've -- i've taken too much time of this body. again, i would ask my friend from ohio to reconsider, negotiate, do whatever we can before we continue to send this terrible message to our friends in the hemisphere who have literally laid down their lives in the war against drugs which we have felt is in the united
states vital national security interest. i thank -- i yield the floor. mr. brown: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent for two minutes to make a motion and make a few comments but only two minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you, madam president. i have great respect for the senior senator from arizona. i want to find a way -- i'll give him specific names of people who have benefited from the expansion in t.a.a., the expansion of health care tax credit. i brought to the floor one day a stack of literally 500 letters, particularly from georgia, michigan and ohio, the states that have been hit the hardest, but some 300 -- many people in arizona too and other places who have benefited from the expansion of the health care tax credit and the expansion of t.a.a. i offer to senator mccain, if there's -- other than the fact it does cost more money -- i don't dispute that -- but if we can work on what specific problems they have with individual parts of the expansion and if there's a way of working out any kind of language they don't like, i'm -- i'm very happy to do this.
but i cannot -- and i'm going to offer a u.c. request on t.a.a., on health care tax credit and on andean because i agree with senator mccain on the andean trade preferences, but i can't walk off this floor -- the reason i objected, madam president, i can't walk off this floor having helped the workers in ecuador and colombia but not having helped the workers in toledo and cleveland and phoenix and charleston, west virginia. so that's why i'm making this unanimous consent request, which will help in every one of cases, the andean trade preference, t.a.a., health care tax credit. i ask, madam president, unanimous scoant the senate proceed to immediate consideration of calendar number 11, h.r h.r. 359, that a brown substitute amendment also on behalf of senators hagan and casey which provides an 18-month extension for trade adjustment assistance and the andean trade preferences act, be agreed to, the bill as amended be read a third time and passed, the motions to reconsider be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate.
the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. mccain: reserving the right to object. i certainly didn't want to get into -- too much into this debate because it -- it's a bit diverting. but the fact is the g.a.o. concluded based on our survey of agency officials, we determine that only 5 of the 47 programs have had impact studies that assess whether the program is responsible for improved employment outcomes. the five impact studies generally found that the effects of participation were not consistent across programs, with only some demonstrating positive impacts that tended to be small, inconclude say or restricted to short-term impacts. and we're talking about an additional $1.6 billion. we can't do that. and why in the world the senator from ohio and other senators
from his part of the country were satisfied for years with a t.a.a. at roughly $1 billion and now are not satisfied with that in these times of economic difficulties confounds me. this is a sad, sad day for our dear friends in colombia and t the -- and the andes who have sacrificed so much on our behalf. i -- so i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. rockefeller: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. rockefeller: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mrs. hutchison: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mrs. hutchison: madam president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the senate's in a quorum call. mrs. hutchison: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. hutchison: i would ask consent that the cloture vote with respect to number 7 with vitiated, further that amendment number 93 be further modified with the changes that are at the desk. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mrs. hutchison: madam president, i would say that we are ready for are the vote on the amendment. i would ask for a vote on amendment -- the amendment number 93 as modified. the presiding officer: the question is on amendment number 93 as further modified. all those in favor say aye. although opposed say nay.
the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. hutchison: madam president, the -- the presiding officer: the question is on inhofe number 7 as amended. all knows favor say aye. all those opposed say nay. the ayes appear to have. it the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. mrs. hutchison: madam president, i would like to ask the senator from arizona to engage in a colloquy with myself and senator rockefeller and any others who wish to speak within this colloquy regarding an issue that was not able to be resolved because of the time constraints. i want to say that every stakeholder representing constituents all over america gave greatly to pass this
amendment that will have, in my opinion, a responsible relaxation of the perimeter rule at washington national airport. we can talk about the details, certainly, as we move forward. but i -- i think there was one major issue left unresolved that i think deserves a colloquy so that we know what we have to do to finish this process in conference before we adopt an f.a.a. bill that is a very important bill for our country. so i would ask the senator from arizona to state his concerns about the undone part of this bill and then we will open it for discussion. mr. kyl: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. kyl: first of all, i would ask consent that the cloture
vote on the underlying bill occur at 2:00 p.m. today. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. kyl: the senator from texas is correct. no one who was directly involved in these negotiations is pleased with outcome. some will say, well that must be a pretty good outcome then. one of the things that we were able -- that we did in order to enable us to come to an agreement is to defer a big issue. and that issue will have to be resolved in conference. it's the issue of how the additional flights that are being allowed under this legislation will be allocated among the various air carriers. and ordinarily an agency will make a decision based upon criteria that the congress lays out in the underlying legislation. otherwise, their decisions can be challenged as arbitrary and ka peerus. it is up to us to decide on what those are. we were not able to agree on them and it is one of those things that we will have to try to come to an agreement with each other about and to
articulate a position with our house colleagues in conference. this pertains to the original or first year tranche and as well as to the second-year tranche. and i hope my colleagues and i can continue to work together in the spirit of cooperation to device good -- devise good criteria so the last piece of this legislation can be put in place. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. rockefeller: i want to make a couple of observations. first of all, i apologize to all of our colleagues for having to postpone cloture and precloture votes. but what has happened is that a number of folks have come in at the very last second and asked for changes. that's not usually the way committee business is done because we've been on this for a number of years, but we have to face the reality of that fact and we want do get cloture and we want the bill to pass. so i would say to my friend from
arizona that i will work with him and with whether it's j.o. or d.o.t., whatever agency, we decide to work with, or both, which we can obviously do, and which is in the legislation. the g.a.o. is automatic for any member that i will work to try and resolve his problem as best as i can. there are many problems wandering around, but the basis of the bill -- the structure of the bill, the overall bill, is actually not just about slots. that's a relatively small part. it's been virtually all of the conversation and the debate. but as senator hutchison's pointed out, you know, a new air traffic control system, airline safety, all kinds of other things are so predominately important that we've had to proceed in this way to try to
accommodate our colleagues and that we will try to do. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. warner: madam president, let me thank the chair and the ranking member fortheir leadership on this -- for their leadership on this issue. along with my colleagues from maryland, the airports that are most affected by these changes, and we have worked in that spirit of compromise, echoing the senator from arizona. i don't think anyone's totally satisfied, but i want to particularly single out the ranking member and the chair for their willingness as well to acknowledge the work on the issue that the effects of these additional flights going up from where the house position was or the airports authority's original position was was to make sure that particularly vis-a-vis dulles and the economic effects on this and the question involving potential shared debt service between the two airports, an issue that again we were not able to resolve, but i appreciate the chair and the ranking member and
their staffs' willingness to continue to work on this as this bill goes into conference. it is very important that we get this bill passed and we move forward on nextgen and all the other very important parts of the f.a.a. bill. mrs. hutchison: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mrs. hutchison: madam president, i just want to say that there have been a lot of negotiations on this amendment, but i do think we now have a breakthrough and a way forward to solve the unresolved issues and pass a very good f.a.a. bill. in general, the amendment does relax the perimeter rule with exemptions. there will be five new entrant capabilities, meaning new entrant, meaning airport --
excuse me, air carriers who do not serve national airport now at all and limited incumbents that have fewer flights from national airport will get five new slots that will be able to go outside of the 1,250 -mile perimiter that has been a standard restriction at national airport. in addition, there will be seven flights that incumbent carriers can exchange from inside the perimeter to outside the perimeter. now, i want to say that earlier the senators from outside the perimeter, which is basically west of st. louis or denver have wanted 75 new flights. they came down to 30. they came down to 21, and now
we're at 16 that would be total because the last four would come later after a study has shown that there would not be disruptions or congestion at national airport. so i think that we have a very limited number of flights that will be coming into national airport, a total of 16, but of those 16, 11 are already flights that go in and out of national, so the disruption to virginia, thanks to the good work of the senators from virginia and maryland will have very little increase or disruption of the national airport area. but in addition, i want to say that although the western senators negotiated down significantly from what they originally wanted, the senators from the northwest also have wanted to have the capability
for more competition and more consumer access, and i agree with them and i think they did a great job. senator wyden, senator cantwell, senator merkley, senator murray also had great concerns, along with the senators from alaska, senator -- the senators from alaska, senator murk -- senator murkowski and senator begich. so they had concerns we had to address. the california senators certainly have wanted more access for california because that is a huge population base that will now have better access to national airport as well as dulles. so there -- i think that is the outline of the amendment that we have just adopted, and we're going to continue to work in conference. the house bill has five new entrants only, so we have 16. we have conversions. the house does not. so there will be a lot of talk and a lot of input, but my goal
is to have more competition, to have strengthened air carriers for our overall u.s. air competition, and to assure that the people west of the mississippi river have access to national airport. and so i think we have made a good start here, and i want to commend all of those who have been involved in a very delicate negotiation, and i especially thank my chairman, senator rockefeller, of the commerce committee for helping us to get to this point that we could pass an f.a.a. bill. as has been mentioned, we're on our 18th extension, short-term extension of the f.a.a., and if we're going to have the next generation of air traffic control system, a modernization of the air traffic control system, the safety requirements, we have to pass the underlying bill. so we have taken a major first step here.
it's not the end, by any means, but it is the beginning of the end, and i would recognize senator wyden who was very much a part of resurrecting from the dead i would say is not too strong a term the amendment that would have gone by the wayside but for his persistence in assuring that we could come to terms that would make no one happy but no one also truly unhappy. mr. wyden: i want to yelled to the distinguished chairman of the commerce committee, and i would just ask unanimous consent to speak briefly after the chairman of the commerce committee has spoken. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from west virginia. mr. rockefeller: i want to echo what senator hutchison has just said. in the process of legislation, if you look at it logically, you do it over a period of years or
two or a number of months and that people get their amendments in, that has not been the case here. on the other hand, one has to recognize that people feel very strongly, and when senators feel very strongly, they have that right and they have that right to try therefore to affect the legislation, even though it may be at the very last moment. i think everybody is acting in good faith here. i appreciate very much the senator from washington, maria cantwell, because she has given up a lot and she has also been very cooperative on all of this, and she is going to be the new subcommittee chair of aviation which i look forward to and appreciate. i appreciate the leadership that senator hutchison and all other members really, the senator from virginia, the senator whose time i am taking, senator wyden. all have participated in trying to work this out. it is not a beautiful process,
but it is one i want to say to my colleagues throughout the senate that is solid and strong and needs to be voted for when that time comes. as i said, the slots are not the only issue. the other issues are huge and they are resolved without any contentiousness at all. so in that spirit, thanking all who have a right for what they fought for, and we tried to respond as best as we could. if nobody is entirely happy, that probably means it is a good bill, a good approach. so i just want to thank everybody, and i yield the floor. mr. wyden: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: i appreciate the chance just to speak for a few minutes. i particularly want to thank senator hutchison and senator rockefeller, and tell colleagues that last night at 10:00 after hours and hours' worth of negotiation, i thought the
prospect of working this out was absolutely gone. i thought once again the senate would walk away from the idea of trying to come up with a way to have a more competitive market-oriented system in the aviation sector. obviously, this is not all that needs to be done, but this issue of slots i would say to colleagues and the folks who are listening, this is not about adding more gambling machines. this is about the right to land a plane. and certainly, much of our country, we have crowded airports. folks are very concerned about this because this really relates to the business climate, it relates to the quality of life. it's not just in my part of the country but lots of others. so this morning, we still had three or four outstanding
issues, and a group of senators on a bipartisan basis got together. we were just a little ways up here in the building, and in good faith worked through a variety of issues, issues to make sure that everybody was treated fairly in terms of scheduling, issues to ensure fairness with respect to the new flights and to something called conversion, which essentially involves taking the short distance flights and turning them into long distance flights. we still have some matters, obviously, that we're going to have to review with respect to studying this issue and ensuring that all airlines had equal access to the markets. this is a sensitive subject, particularly to folks here in
virginia and maryland, so these are areas that are going to take some additional work, but i think with the new provisions that have been added, particularly to make sure that we would have the five new round trip flights from reagan national, ensuring that these new slots would be intended for long distance, for out of perimeter, we have moved a long way to ensure that the united states senate would go into conference on a bipartisan basis in a unified fashion. and madam president, i just want to take particular note of the extraordinary work done by senator cantwell, my colleague from the pacific northwest, because when you reach an agreement like this that has three or four provisions in effect that still were being thrashed through this morning, it only comes together when
colleagues say they've got to find a way to get to some common ground, and they can't simply go into a negotiation and have everything their way. nobody in my view in these discussions moved more from the position that they were most interested in than senator cantwell, and chairman rockefeller has been right to note that she will be the chair of the subcommittee. i can assure colleagues that no one will do more to protect the consumer, protect competition, to protect the marketplace that we would like in the aviation sector than senator cantwell, and she was instrumental last night and this morning where we practically could have been fed intravenously and just stayed put and kept negotiating to get to the point where we had an agreement on these slots.
and i do hope -- i referenced chairman rockefeller when you were off the floor, mr. chairman, that we can continue this kind of cooperation as we have this bill pass the senate and we go to a conference. there is a reason why we couldn't resolve the slots issue in the past, and that is despite efforts to come together, we just couldn't get senators to focus on these three or four outstanding issues that we're dealt with this morning. the question about scheduling priorities and the question of the additional slots when the department of transportation said there was an argument with respect to why it advanced competition. i think we have been fair to the big markets under this agreement as well as the smaller markets. so as you go into the
conference, i think the goodwill that came about as a result particularly of last night's efforts and this morning's efforts and all the cooperation that you and senator riewches have shown, you have been able to take an issue that was seen as absolutely impossible to resolve, even as of late last night, because i felt when i walked in this morning we were just going to hang crepes on this question and possibly the whole bill. i think now this bipartisan effort and goodwill shown by a lot of senators on both sides of the aisle, led by you and senator hutchison, is going to pay off. it's a very, very good start to an issue that isn't going to be resolved today. some of the principles that have been laid out today are going to make a huge difference. i want to close again by saying that my colleague from the pacific northwest, senator cantwell, who i believe knows as much about aviation as anybody on the planet at this point did
an awful lot to bring people together. i look forward to working with you as we go to conference. thank you for your cooperation. i look forward to talking about some additional issues that you know i care a lot about. the drones that are so important in central oregon, but you have made it possible for us to make an enormous amount of headway today, and i look forward to working with you and senator hutchison in the days ahead. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: thank you, mr. president. in just a moment i will ask the body for a unanimous consent to adopt resolution -- senate resolution 60, but before i do, i want to talk about the significance of this agreement that we've come to on this important resolution. 50 years ago, dwight eisenhower signed into law what was known as the real estate investment trust legislation, creating
what's known commonly called as reits. reits are where shareholders can buy interests in equity. but the creation of reits, average americans could make an investment and enjoy the returns on real estate. the law is very specific. it requires 95% of all income to the trust has to come from specified sources like dividends, rents and other income. 75% of the income must come specifically from real estate, and 75% of the assets must be in real estate as well. it was a successful law from the beginning to the end but, quite frankly, nobody would have anticipated in 1960 what would happen in 1986. with the change of tax laws in america and the loss of -- passive loss as a deduction on real estate, commercial and investment real estate and multifamily real estate went in the tank. in fact, most properties that were valued at 80% or 90% loan-to-value became overvalued
at 120%, 130%, or 140%. people were losing millions and millions in real estate investments and basically went in the tank. but because reits allowed investors to go to the capital markets to raise money, reits would take over these markets, sell interests in the capital market, recapitalize the property and, in turn, create a viable investment. quite frankly, mr. president, the mowlt family apartment -- multifamily apartment industry, the shopping center industry and a lot of the other industry was saved in 1986 by the reits. so i'm pleased to be sharing the stage with senator mikulski, who's a cosponsor of this resolution, recognizing the important of real estate investment trust. in my state, we have a number of them. every state does. cousins properties crtd, piedmont office real estate properties incorporated. host property incorporated, wells investment trust and many others. all today are viable and alive because america's small investors and large can invest in real estate investment trusts. and so with that being said, i'd like to ask a unanimous consent.
i ask unanimous consent that the senate now proceed to the consideration of senate resolution 60, which was submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the measure. the clerk: s. res. 60, recognizing the 50th anniversary of the date of enactment of the law that created real estate investment trusts and gave millions of americans new investment opportunities that helped them build a solid foundation for retirement and has contributed to the overall strength of the economy of the united states. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. isakson: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed, to the preamble be agreed to, and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. isakson: , and mr. president, i'd ask one further unanimous consent, that the entirety of my remarks be printed in the record as submitted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. isakson: and i yield the floor and suggest the absence of
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nevada. a senator: i ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: mr. president, yesterday along with senators hutchison and mcconnell, we introduce add resolution of disapproval that if adopted will overturn the f.c.c.'s attempt to regulate the internet through the recent open internet order. in december the f.c.c. defined congress and the judiciary announced an order that will give it sweeping new authority to regulate content on and access to the internet. mr. ensign: particularly in today's economy, the internet and associated applications should be able to evolve without unnecessary government interference that could stifle innovation and stifle job creation. the last thing government needs to do is once again burden the private sector with additional burdensome regulatory red tape.
while the f.c.c.'s action is certainly concerning, it should come as no surprise considering this administration's history of usurping the private sector role in our economy and replacing it with a more heavy-handed federal regulation. as we've learned, such regulation only serves to micromanage private businesses and it limits their ability of companies to grow. on the contrary, this order will serve to smother creative new uses for the internet and it will slow the expansion of advanced broadband networks. as we know, the internet has become an indispensable part of our economy and an intergal part of our society. it's a source of innovation, information, entertainment, commerce, and communication. largely unfettered by government laws and regulations, the internet owes much of its
success to innovators and to entrepreneurs who have had the freedom to imagine, to explore and to create new use force the internet. mr. president, the innovation and ingenuity associated with the creation and development of the internet in this country is a prime example of what the private sector is capable of doing if its hands are are not completely tied by washington. the problem with the f.c.c.'s order is that it put the f.c.c., itself, in a position of being the final arbiter of what broadband service providers can and cannot do with their networks. as the internet evolves, new network services and management practices may be necessary or desirable. yet, i fear the companies will now either be barred from
innovating or will have to seek the f.c.c.'s permission first. under the order, internet providers -- quote -- "shall not block lawful content application services or nonharmful devices subject to reasonable network management. " the order also states that these providers shall not unreasonablably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic over a consumer's broadband internet access service. well, guess who makes -- gets to make the determination of what constitutes lawful or reasonable? it's not the consumer. it's not congress. rather, these are unelected bureaucrats at the f.c.c. who alone will make those determinations. this gives the federal government, for the first time, the power to make decisions that will affect what websites consumers can and cannot access
and how they may access them. i continue to believe that the competitive market is the best means to pressure -- or to preserve and advance the future of the internet. that is why i've continued to -- i've continued to fight the f.c.c.'s attempt at regulating the internet under the guise of preserving openness. in 2009, i cosponsored an amendment with senator hutchison that would have prohibited the f.c.c. from using any appropriated funds to adopt, implement or otherwise limit rules, protocols or standards. also late last year i authored a letter signed by 28 of my colleagues to the f.c.c. urging it not to proceed with this order. with the sweeping new authority that the f.c.c. has given itself, one question should be asked, is this order even necessary? how many people in this country
have been unable to access the internet like the order would suggest? do the american people really want more government oversight when it comes to the internet? the internet is that last frontier when it comes to innovation without government interference. do we really want to jeopardize that? isn't this more like a solution looking for a problem? consumers today have more internet access, more internet services than ever before. business has invested tens of billions of dollars in new broadband infrastructure in this country. internet entrepreneurs continue to offer new services, applications, devices, and content to users of broadband internet networks. in this type of environment there's little justification for this type of proposed intrusion
into the broadband marketplace. it appears then that this order is simply a solution in search of a problem that does not exist. and as seef seen time -- as we've seen time and time again in washington, this is a recipe for producing unintended consequences. things that are not forseen, the problems that this new rule will actually create. with the sweeping new authority the f.c.c. has given itself, one question should be asked again, is this order even necessary? well, we need to answer that question, i believe, by saying no. that in this type of environment there is little justification for this type of rule into the marketplace that is going to handy -- handcuff the internet in the future.
rather, congress should work with the industry to find ways to encourage broadband investment and to promote competition amongst internet providers. you see, investors are eager out there. even during this economic downturn, tens of billions of dollars have been invested in new broadband infrastructure. in turn, this has enabled internet entrepreneurs to offer new services and new applications, new devices and consent to more and more -- content to more and more users of broadband. president obama announced his initiative to expand broadband deployment so 98% of americans have access to wireless internet service. i support this goal. however, for this goal to be achievable, there needs to be a substantial private sector investment and participation, which, i believe, cannot co-exist with the f.c.c.'s order. in fact, i'm confident that if this congress and courts do not
act to reverse this order, this order will discourage investment, stifle innovation and cost this country more jobs. the f.c.c.'s order is anti-free market, anticompetitive, and it will threaten american innovation. and, as i said before, it will cost american jobs. so what possible reason would the private sector agree to invest under this type of heavy-handed regulatory environment provided under this order? i think it will dramatically limit investment. this order only creates disincentives for private investment and innovation, which will only put us behind the rest of the world when it comes to broadband. the good news is that congress has the tools to correct this order. so i encourage my colleagues to support the
hutchison-mcconnell-ensign resolution of disapproval of the f.c.c.'s new rule. this will allow congress to repeal the f.c.c.'s dangerous order on net neutrality. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. kirk: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. kirk: mr. president, i seek
recognition to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kirk: thank you. mr. president, we are spending money that we do not have. the administration budget proposes taxing the american people to the tune o of $2.6 trillion, spendin spending $3.7 trillion, and borrowing $1.1 trillion. under the budget, interest participates on the debt are set to quadruple from $200 billion this year to $900 billion in 10 years. the great harvard economic historian has stated that the decline of a country could be -- can be measured when it pays its money lenders more than its army. we will hit that level in the next few fiscal years. now, in response today i am announcing our first silver fleece award. it's not a golden fleece award,
because in time that of austerity, we can no longer afford that. we pay homage to senator william proxmeyer of wisconsin that put forward the golden fleece awards in the late 1970 and 1980's. we future what is in his waste book on a new site called wastebook on facebook. there the silver fleece award is being proposed in three parts. for a vote by people who wish to participate. this month we had three nominees. -- for the virile fleece award. the second runner up was a pair of national science foundation grants worth $456,000. these grants went to studies on why political candidates make vague statements and how americans use online dating.
the first runner up was fo for $615,000 in a grant to create a library archive about the grateful dead, a well-known rock 'n' roll band. however, neither of these two projects was voted on as the worst of the current waste we see. instead, the inaugural winner of the silver fleece award is for a nearly $1 million grant going to fund signs to display poetry in zoos. the organization administering the program, poets house and public library, states that the goal of the program is to -- quote -- "deepen public awareness of environmental issues through poetry." i would add using borrowed taxpayer funds. thanks to this nearly $1 million program, a visitor to the little rock zoo in arkansas can now read the words of author hans
christian anderson saying -- quote -- "just as living is not enough, said the butter fly, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower." i would argue that future generations would be far more interested in a life without debt and taxpayers should not pick up the bill for such projects. i ask unanimous consent to submit to the record the 2008 reader's digest article, the poet's house and public library statement. and the april 15, 2010 article from the arkansas democrat gazette on this. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kirk: i would also now like to announce the new nominees for the next march silver fleece award. first, we will have the opportunity to vote to give the silver fleece award for a $150,000 transportation grant to create a -- quote -- "wildlife crossing at mountain
vermont." this is a technical term for a turn that will allow sal mannedders and -- salamanders to cross the road. the second nominee is a grant from the -- for the national science foundation to study why people lie in text messages. third, we will nominate funding for a video game called wolf quest which was funded by a $508,253 grant from the national science foundation to a minnesota zoo. we invite your votes and your feedback on wastebook on facebook to decide what next month's silver fleece award winner will be. sadly thing is the only loser currently is the american people, and i yield back. thank you, mr. president.
mr. rockefeller: snrp. the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. rockefeller: i ask unanimous consent that the order of the quorum call be rescinded. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. rockefeller: mr. president, in about five minutes, we're going to be hopefully voting for cloture on the underlying bill, the basic f.a.a. bill, which has been the product of an awful lot of work. and i think generally speaking, we have tried to bring everybody
in. senators do have rights and as a bill comes closer to a cloture vote or a passage vote, some of those rights are exercised, which it then complicates things. but on the other hand, it's what the system is and people ought to have those rights. you can't -- you can't ask everybody to sort of sit back and think through a whole bill. something occurs to them at the last moment, they need to come down and address that, and we tried to do that. i think that we are pretty close to a slots amendment agreement. not everybody is happy about it but everybody has given up and everybody has gotten from it. and so we'll have this vote and then we will continue work on various aspects of the bill. i hope we can get it done tonight from the senate side. then we have to go negotiate with the house and their bill is
quite different. but what's interesting about the aviation bill, it really does affect america vastly. you know, i don't know how many times i've said, employs 1 million people. actually it employs direct and indirect probably closer to 13 million people. and it's -- it affects people's lives in every single way. they're trying to build a high-speed rail s. you can't build a high-speed interstate system. you can take a chance at it but it doesn't work very well. so traveling by aviation is really how people get to where they want go. it's a complicated industry. costs go up. sometimes it's because of fuel. passengers are held on tarmacs, sometimes because there's just
congestion or there's a crisis at the airport of some sort. and passengers, when they're on their way from one place to another, don't sort of think about the problems that the airline industry or the airports are going through. they think think about the fact they're being inconvenienced, if, in fact, they are being that way. but i think it's a very, very good bill and it's been worked on a very, very long time by myself and an extraordinarily wonderful senator kay bailey hutchison, who's -- i call her cochair of the commerce committee, because she is. and people have operated in good faith, and we've had a lot of scrums and huddles about on the senate floor but that's the way legislation probably needs to work. it's a very complicated bill but it's a bill that i think that we will get cloture on and people should actually be very anxious to vote for when it comes to final passage. and i -- i will give a talk
about that but i just remind people again that we have a air traffic control system which is so antiquated that there are actually very many near misses in the sky because we're using a radar system and planes often come very close to running into each other on the tarmac. it's a very old system, a 50-year-old system, and this bill will fix that and make it safer for people to travel and more planes can take off and f fly. so i hope that we invoke cloture at 2:00 and then we'll continue to work on the bill. it's important for america and it's important to satisfy as many people as we possibly can. i thank the presiding officer. i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
mr. reid: mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vest with a -- from west virginia. i ask unanimous consent that the order of -- mr. rockefeller: i ask consent that the order of the quorum be rescinded. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on calendar number 5, s. 223, f.a.a. air transportation modernization and safety improvement act signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory
motion is agreed to. mr. wyden: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: thank you, mr. president. i and senator merkley and many of the senators spent a great deal of time working on the question of slots, which literally in plain english is about the right to land a plane. i'm very pleased that we were able to work out our bipartisan agreement. i outlined why it was so important earlier in the morning. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order, please. the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: thank you, mr. president. given all the attention that that discussion received, i just wanted to make sure that the senate didn't lose sight of another important aviation issue. chairman rockefeller has been very, very supportive of our efforts to try to expand and improve the unmanned aerial systems, what are known as the u.a.s. programs that are so essential for the future of the
aviation sector. in this part of the aviation sector, we have seen enormous growth in the last few years. a lot of folks know that these systems are critical to military operations. they have been of enormous importance in iraq and afghanistan. but people may not be as aware that these unmanned aerial systems also have enormous potential in the civilian sector. we're talking here now, mr. president, about fire fighting, law enforcement, border patrol, search and rescue, environmental monitoring, and also law enforcement. law enforcement in rural areas areas -- that is much of my state, but i know other parts of the country are also very concerned about this. as yet, the federal aviation
administration has not yet come up with a good plan for how to integrate these unmanned aerial systems, these unmanned aerial system vehicles into the airspace. so i'm pleased that the bill before us includes requirements for the federal aviation administration to work on a plan for these systems and establish test sites for u.a.s. research. but it's my hope, mr. president, as we go forward -- and chairman rockefeller has been very, very supportive of our efforts. we've discussed this many times. it's going to be possible to expand these sites. i and senator schumer and a number of colleagues are interested in this. this is a chance, colleagues, for the federal aviation administration to finally give these unmanned aerial systems the attention and the priority that's warranted. there is enormous potential here in the civilian sector. we've talked about it in the military sector.
i want to yield now to the chairman of the committee, who's been exceptionally helpful to me not just on this question of the unmanned aerial systems, but for his patience as we worked through the slots issues where we finally got the breakthrough this morning. mr. chairman, i would be glad to yield to you for any comments that you have. mr. rockefeller: i thank the senator very much. i actually wanted to thank you. i've got our colloquy right in front of me, but i just want to say to you that i agree with what you're saying. i want to be helpful. and we will continue to be helpful. and there's some in a position not to be helpful on this and who are not being helpful. i understand that and such is life. i will continue to try to be helpful on this, not just on the substance, because you have been so important in the resolution of which you mentioned at the very end.
that is the slots. you've been a nonstop peacemaker, sort of the secretary general of the u.n. and you really have. i respect that and i appreciate it. this is complicated stuff. it's emotional stuff. and you've been great. so i will continue to work with you on this and try to get to our mutual goal. mr. wyden: mr. president, i want to just thank the chairman of the full committee. he's been exceptionally gracious. i think senators understand we would not be here, other than the fact that you, mr. chairman, and senator hutchison have prosecuted this case relentlessly in a bipartisan way. we knew if we stayed at it on the slots issue that we would get it resolved. i thank you for giving all the other things you have on your plate, your help with the unmanned aerial systems. senator schumer and i have had strong views on this, and we are fairly passionate characters.
you have been very patient for us. we know we've got some challenges in terms of working out the exact number of additional sites, but we thank you for your thoughtfulness. this is going to be a good bill, going to go to conference in a strong position, and it could not have happened without your tenacity and senator hutchison's. and i thank you for your help. mr. rockefeller: i thank again the senator from oregon. he's gone way beyond the nature of his colloquy, but i like what he said. mr. president, unanimous consent tubing put this colloquy between the senator from oregon and myself in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: mr. president, i yield the floor. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i want to add my voice of thanks to all involved in the whole slots issue. i know at the last minute senator wyden was doing actual shuttling back and forth between one side of the chamber and the other. i think it turned out well.
it couldn't have happened without the support of the chairman and the ranking member. again, coming from the largest state in the union, we have one flight into washington, d.c. it makes no sense. it isn't good for the economy. it's inconvenient. it adds a lot of congestion on the highways here. and we're very pleased that we're on our way to passing a good bill. i would ask unanimous consent that i speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: thank you. thank you very much, mr. president. i want to send a bill to the desk in behalf of myself and senators casey, tester, manchin, warner and wyden. i want to explain it. and i hope that we'll see action on this bill in the near future, because we are on very delicate ground right now as we try to
resolve the budget issues before us. we have two sides to the legislative branch, the house and the senate; very different, i think, approaches to this deficit problem, which is quite real. and both sides should be respectful of each other. but the messages that i am getting via the media in terms of the language being used on the other side is we don't really much care what the senate thinks. it's kind of our way or the highway type of rhetoric. now, the problem with this is that the type of cuts that are coming out of, from the other side, from the house side, from our republican friends over
there, economists tell us will cost 800,000 jobs to this nation. 800,000 jobs will be lost if we don't make some changes to what they've done over there. and as someone from a state that has a very tough economic climate, trying to climb out of this recession, that's just extreme. it's just extreme. now, are we willing to make cuts? yes. and it is my belief that both sides have to sit down and work this out. we believe there are cuts to be made. they've come out with cuts. and we need to work together. but here's what troubles me, and this is why i've introduced this legislation. what troubles me is that there seems to be more and more threats of a government
shutdown. in the early days of the new house leadership, we didn't hear that. now we're hearing it. in phreut koerbgs one of the headlines -- in "politico," one of the headlines recently was mcconnell won't take shutdown off the table. that refers to our republican leader. in reuters, majority leader eric cantor, republican majority leader in the house -- quote -- "refused to rule out the possibility of a government shutdown." unquote. republican senator mike lee said "the 1995 government shutdown was just an inconvenience." i've got to tell you it's a lot more than an inconvenience when senior citizens can't get help getting their social security or veterans on disability can't get their help, hospitals close down, projects shut down. these are real people out there, and a lot of contractors in the private sector that rely on the
government operating, such as road projects and bridges being repaired and the rest. it's radical to say that a government shutdown is an inconvenience. it's a failure. a government shutdown is a failure of those of us who are here to act like adults and resolve our differences. cnn said "top republican on the senate budget committee said he's not ruling out the possibility of a government shutdown." and the way speaker boehner spoke today is, to me, kind of a "take it or leave it" tone to it. i've got to tell you, that budget over there not only threatens 800,000 jobs, but what they did is they legislated on an appropriations bill. what they did was they decided
that women shouldn't have access to a full range of reproductive health care, so they're bringing in the issue of abortion on a budget bill. now, i think the issue of a woman's right to choose and her reproductive health care and getting pap screenings and cancer screenings is important, and we should debate that here. if people want to repeal roe v. wade, let's debate that here. what they've done with the clean air act -- and i know my friend sitting in the chair cares so much about this. the clean air act was brought to us by richard nixon, bipartisan support. what they do is they prohibit the environmental protection agency from enforcing the clean air act as it rethraoeuts carbon -- relates to carbon pollution, pollution that is dangerous to our families, endangers the lives and the health of our families.
that's what the bush administration said when they were in charge, let alone the obama administration. so rather than bringing to the floor a bill to repeal the clean air act, i would welcome that debate and, oh, my friend would as well. they do this through the back door and tell the environmental protection agency they can't protect us from pollution. now that is not what the american people expect to be in a simple budget document. we've got to cut some programs, let cut some programs. let's not change abortion law on it. let's not bring up how to repeal the clean air act on it. let's not eviscerate law settlements. they've done a range of things here which really require debate. and i would love to put these questions to the american
people. i can tell you in my home state, my home state thinks government has no business in the issue of women's health. stay away, that's what they say. we'll make up our own minds. some of us are pro-choice, some of us are not. but don't tell us what to believe. that's my state, the majority of the people there. they don't want big brother and the government telling women what to do, and they put it on a budget bill. that doesn't make any sense. the people in my state, let me tell you, they want clean air. in all the years i've been in office -- and the president and i have been around a while holding different offices -- not one of my constituents every ever came up to me and said, barbara, we need dirty aimplet the air is too clean. the water is too pure. the lakes are too pristine. the beaches are gorgeous.
no, they want us to make sure we protect them from pollution. so that their kids can breathe the air and not get asthma. so what our friends on the other side have done is they've done these gargantuan cuts, and in addition to these cuts, which will cost us, according to senator inouye, 800,000 jobs -- 800,000 jobs -- they have legislated issues that are conten just and don't belong on the budget bill. now, here's the deal. i'm worried that they just might say to us, our way or the highway. i'm worried about that. that's -- that's what i'm starting to hear. and if they lead us into a government shutdown and we fail to act like adults, mr. president, and resolve this
and keep the contentious issues off the budget and cut reasonabliably and sensibly so that we don't cause more unemployment, if we can figure that out and meet each other halfway in everything that you do what you compromise, we'll be fine. but if that isn't the case, i want to make sure that members of congress suffer just as much as any federal employee. so i have written this bill with my colleagues to say that in the event of a government shutdown or a failure to lift the debt ceiling -- and we start defaulting on our commitments -- members of congress will not get paid. because members of congress don't deserve to be paid if we can't act like adults and negotiator this. i am so tired of the high poo cry sis that i have seen -- i
know it is a strong word and i am not leveling it at any particular individual. but i've got to tell you, you've got members of the house that said, becomecare is tairbled and then they took it for themselves. so what price are they paying? they vote "no" on health care for everybody else, but they keep government health care. it's wrong. a lot of them are sleeping in their offices. you tell me one other person that you know, mr. president, that is allowed to sleep in the office of their corporation that they may work for. as far as i know, there's nobody. they don't pay any rent. they sleep in their offices. so they do all these things. they don't help the housing crisis. and they sleep in their offices. they won't vote for health care, but they take government health care.
and now they might shut down the government, and while federal employees will not get paid, they'll get paid. no way. wrong. not fair. they have to pay a price for all their extremism. so i hope we'll pass this bill and send it over to the house, and the house can decide if they think this is right. this is one i'd like to take to the american people because if they shut down the government or they fail to raise the debt ceiling, and we start to default and they pay no price, it's not fair. you know, we cannot stamp our feet and say, it's the way i want it or i'm taking my marbles and i'm going home. or my teddy bear or my blanket or whatever.
you can't do that. this is the greatest country in the world, and as my friend, senator sanders who's in the chair so beautifully said last night on a news show -- it was so w we well-done -- he said, te middle-class is hurting. real income is going down. and as we look at these budget cuts, we have to think about that. and i'm thinking a lot about it. and i'm seeing hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost by the middle class, not by the wealthy few. they're not going to be touched by this. so this is a very simple bill. i'll tell you what it says.
"members of congress and the president shall not receive basic pay for any period in which there's more than a 24-hour lapse in appropriations for any federal agency or department as a result of a failure to enact a regular appropriations bill or a continuing resolution or if the federal government is unable to make payments or meet obligations because the debt limit has been reached." so it's simple. so i really am calling on my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to take the option of a government shutdown off the table. i hope this legislation will nudge them in that direction. let them think about what it's like not to get paid. because if they shut down the federal government, a whole lot of folks won't get paid, and a lot of people in the private sector won't get paid, and a lot of people on pensions won't get paid, but the only people that
would be exempted pretty much: members of congress. and we have to put an end to that dichotomy. so, mr. president, thank you for all your leadership in behalf of the middle class and the working poor, and i think the i had pock chrissie has got to end, and i -- i feel that we've got to come on this floor and start telling the american people the truth. and the truth is, the cuts over there on the other side are going to hurt the middle class. they're extreme. they have added language that doesn't belong on a budget bill. because even though they said they were about jobs, jobs, jobs, maybe they were how to lose another 800,000 jobs. maybe that's what they meant. but nobody thought they'd come in here and the first thing they'd do is attach abortion
language, family planning language, you know, eviscerate the e.p.a.'s ability to clean up carbon pollution hon a budget bill, and we've to start letting the american people know. because they're busy and they don't get to read, you know, all the ins and outs of what happens here. we've go golt to put it -- we've got to put it in straightforward language. today is a very good day in the senate. we have been brought together and a lot of that credit goes to senator rockefeller and senator hutchison. i am frowd serve on their committee. we're doing a good job. we're working together. we worked out our problems. we have problems with new flights out of national. no one thought we should resolve it but you know what? we were happy to work together -- republicans, democrats, people from the east, the west, the midwest. and we showed that we can do something here today. and we're about to pass a very good bill. my passage of the bill of rights
is in that. i'm thrilled so much. it was a boxer-snowe bill. it has been incorporated in here. if you get stuck on an airline, you should be able to expect that you'll have water and nourishment and the toilets won't be overflowing and that if the plane is stuck for three hours, you should be able to have the option to get off that flight. so, listen, there's good things that we can dovment we've proveton here today. but i'm getting increasingly nervous about the threats of a government shutdown. and i think if members know that it isn't just pain that's going to be inflicted on someone else but they'll inflict pain on themselves and their families, just maybe they'll take that option off the table. i thank you very much, mr. president. and i yield the floor. and unless senator rockefeller or senator hutchison wants to speak, i would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: mr. president, this week -- the presiding officer: quorum call. mr. hatch: oh, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: mr. president, this week the senate began a debate about nothing less than the future of this country. next year, we face a $1.65 trillion deficit, the third year in a row where the united states will run a deficit of over a trillion dollars. even more daunting, we are over
$14 trillion in total debt as we stand here on the floor today. according to the nonpartisan congressional budget office, or c.b.o., the debt held by the public is projected to reach $18.3 trillion, or 77% of g.d.p., by the end of 2021. now, this is a problem that truly threatens the well-being of our nation. c.b.o. projects that the costs of simply paying the interest on all of this debt will rise to $792 billion, or 3.3% of g.d.p. in 2021. now, when you are pushing a $1 trillion-a-year in interest payments alone, you are reaching a day when the national government will not -- will not have the resources to accomplish even the limited mission delegated to it by the constitution. this is what admiral mike mull learn, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff meant, when he testified today that -- quote -- "our debt is the greatest threat to national security."
the president could have led on this issue when he released his budget earlier this week, but he took a pass instead. apparently he and his democratic congressional allies have done some polling that tells them two things. first, the american people are demanding that washington tackle our annual deficits and skyrocketing debt. and secondly, the democrats can benefit politically by standing aside, letting republicans propose solutions to this problem, or these problems, and then demagoguing the daylight out of any effort to restrain spending. the coming debate is going to be a bruising one. but as we go forward, it is critical that we keep at least one thing in mind -- we cannot get out of this hole by taking more of taxpayers' hard-earned money. our debt and deficit problems exist because washington spends too much, not because taxes are too low. it is a terrible idea to propose raising taxes by over $1.6 trillion on net over the
next ten years alone, yet that is exactly what the obama administration's budget, released earlier this week, proposes. i said it earlier this week and i will say it again -- this budget proves once and for all that our deficits and debt are not caused by our taxes being too low. the president has proposed a net tax increase of over $1.6 trillion yet for next year and every year of his ten-year budget, he runs a deficit. at their best, the annual deficits dip to roughly $600 billion and that's if 9 -- if the c.b.o. is right, and they're generally not right. they're generally always low. even after these astronomical tax increases, the president is still unable to balance the budget. and there are not many more easy targets for democrats to tax. in 2012, in a foolish attempt at class warfare, democrats are prepared to let the tax rates expire with far-reaching
consequences for the small business owners who account for half of all small business flowthrough income. those small business owners would see their marginal rates hiked by 17% to 24% under this budget when that happens. in obamacare, they tax medical devices, insurance plans, prescription drugs, small businesses, and individual americans. the result? a surprise only to the most hardened ideologues, is the loss of 800,000 jobs, according to the congressional budget office, and yet they still can't balance the budget. so who else do they propose to tax? the bottom line is that there isn't anyone left to tax unless the president and his democratic allies are willing to crush the middle class with additional tax burdens. there's only one way out -- we need to restrain spending. as the chairman of the house budget committee, congressman paul ryan, explained, we need to
get spending in line with revenue, not the other way around. the analysis of the congressional budget office, or c.b.o., confirmed this. c.b.o. is the nonpartisan official score keeper for congress. according to its january 2011 budget and economic outlook from 1971-2010, tax have averaged 18% of gross domestic product or g.d.p. so in recent history, we've had an average level of taxation of around 18% of g.d.p. now, take a look at this particular chart that was made using c.b.o.'s january 2011 document. c.b.o. explains that if no changes in law are made, taxes will go up 20.8% of g.d.p. by 2021 and will average 19.9% from 2012-2021.
taxes at 28.8% of g.d.p. would represent a tax increase of 16% from their recent historical average. c.b.o. also states that if most of the provisions of the december 2010 tax act were made permanent, then -- quote -- "annual revenues would average about 18% of g.d.p. through 2021, which is equal to their 40-year average." well, as you can see, this chart is very erevelatory. as you can see, it goes from 1971-2021. and that's revenues as a percentage of g.d.p., and we're going to be way up above the 18% average. so according to c.b.o., even if all the bush-era tax rates were permanently extend, taxes would still be high enough when measured against the level of
taxation in recent history. so if taxes are high enough already, should we raise them any way? i'll go ahead and answer my own rhetorical question -- of course we should not raise taxes any higher. on august 14, 2008, jason fuhrman and austin goldsteen wrote a wal "wall street journa" editorial n. that editorial, they stated that candidate obama's tax plan would reduce -- quote -- "revenues to less than 18.2% of g.d.p., the level of taxes that repraild unde prevair president reagan." today, austin goalsby is the chairman of the -- president obama, his administration's counsel of economic advise -- council of economic advisors, and fuhrman is the director of obama's national economic council. the president must have missed their editorial because his recently released budget ignores the campaign promises of those -- of these two top officials and raises taxes well
above their historical levels. as one writer has put it, all of the president's campaign promises seem to come up with an expiration date. as this debate over the debt and deficits rages on, pay close attention to the words that republicans and democrats use. you will hear republicans say that we need spending restraint. by contrast, you will hear democrats say that we need to deal with the deficit. let's be clear. dealing with the deficit is code for raising taxes. liberal pundit after liberal pundit will pronounce confidently that you can't deal with the deficit solely with spending restraint. yet they won't say why. and they won't explain how you can deal with the deficit and debt through tax increases. that's because they can't. if they come clean with the american people, they would have to admit that their intention is to raise taxes on everyone and everything.
as i've already shown, taxes are high enough already and we should not be raising them even higher, yet the bottom line is that rather than dealing seriously with out-of-control spending, tax-and-spend democrats want to raise taxes to pay for more out-of-control spending. and guess what? if we raise taxes to eliminate the deficit, the current levels of spending would just cause a new deficit to arise. i have a chart here that demonstrates just how futile it is to rait -- it is to raise thp tax rate if the goal is to raise more money. now, you'll notice the red line on the top is the top marginal tax ray. the revenue line on the bottom is a percentage -- as a percentage of g.d.p. is the blue one. we're talking about the top tax rate -- as the top tax rate changes, revenue as a percentage of g.d.p. actually stays around the same. now, when the top tax rate has been raised over the years, taxes as a percentage of g.d.p.
still hovered around their historical average of 18%. now, this held true even when the top tax rate was raised to a confiscatory level of over 90%. the conventional wisdom on the other side of the aisle is that we can simply raise more tax revenue by increasing tax rates. however, the history is pretty clear. this is simply -- this strategy simply does not work. just take another look at this chart if you don't believe me. through all of it, we've had the top tax marginal rates very high back in 1944 and then all the way down here to where they're about 39% and the revenue as a percentage of g.d.p. hasn't changed. so the top marginal tax rate didn't really help. now, instead of raising tax rates, what we need to do is implement a pro-growth tax policy. that starts with not raising taxes. for two years, we were able to fight off tax increases on small
businesses proposed by president obama and congressional democratic leadership. however, i have another chart here that shows the relationship between the annual growth of the federal revenues and g.d.p. as you can see from this chart, when g.d.p. increases -- and, of course, the red line happens to be the revenues; g.d.p. happens to be the green line, gross domestic product -- when g.d.p. increases, federal revenues increase. similarly, when g.d.p. decreases, federal revenues decrease. this should not be a shocking revelation. when the economy is growing, the government collects more money to tax revenues because there is more taxable income being earned. the key is to have commonsense, pro-growth tax and regulatory policies. and as i mentioned before, pro-growth agenda starts with refusing to raise taxes. i mean, just look at that chart. the fact of the matter is, is
that the g.d.p. basically has gone down a little bit but, as you can see, taxes are now up and will continue to be up well into 2021. as i mentioned before, a pro-growth agenda starts with refusing to raise taxes. part of the difference between republicans and democrats on whether to increase taxes come from -- comes from different ways of looking at the world. conservative republicans look at the money earned by the american people and understand that it belongs to the people. as free men and women, american citizens have a right to the fruit of their own labors. americans work too hard. they sacrifice too much for washington to blithely raise their taxes to pay for an ever-expanding federal government. yet liberal democrats have a different view. listening to president obama and many congressional democrats, it is clear that they view the
money earned by american people as the federal government's money first. it is only by the grace of the federal bureaucracy that citizens are given an allowance to live on. now, this is a huge difference. you hear that when liberals talk about the cost of tax cuts. the cost of tax cuts? cost to whom? when democrats talk like this, they are effectively saying that anything you earn is the government's to spend. and it is a cost to the government when they decide to let you keep your money. for most americans, this is an odd way of looking at the world. government costs money when it spends trillions of dollars on who knows what. the taxpayer does not cost the government money when the taxpayer keeps what that taxpayer earns. yet this liberal world view was on clear display in the recent debate about whether to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
president obama and many congressional democrats said that we shouldn't -- should not be giving tax breaks to certain taxpayers. since when did keeping your own hard-earned money constitute the government giving you anything? this is not how the american people view it and it's not how i view it. president obama an many congressional democrats view a failure to increase taxes as a giveaway to taxpayers that increase the deficit. republican view the job-killing tax increase with nearly 10% unemployment as a terrible idea. the way to deal with the deficit is not to raise taxes. the way to deal with the deficit is to live within our means. just like families and individuals do across america. the federal government should only spend what it takes in. the president and his allies like to say that they inherited these deficits. now, that's only a half truth.
they inherited some debt and deficits, but they have helped create much more. for example nearly a trillion dollars was added to our debt by president obama's partisan stimulus bill. that bill was loaded up with pent-up democratic agenda items and was sold with the promise that it would keep unemployment blow 8% -- below 8%. we know by the president's own standard the stimulus bill has failed miserably. unemployment has been at or above 9% for the past 21 months. that stimulus debt was not inherited by president obama. it was created by president obama. and he is bequeathing it to all of our children and grandchildren. the numbers don't lie. when democrats took over washington, it was like setting homer simpson loose at an all you can eat buff faye. for -- buffet.
for too long interest groups to create new programs and grow the size of government had gone unfulfilled. when they sieged the reign of power, liberal democrats went hog wild. our nation's deficit has gone from $150 billion in 2007 when democrats took over congress -- remember, they had two years before president obama even got elected. the democrats were in control of congress. it went from $161 billion in 2007 to $1.65 trillion in 2011. now, with respect to the debt, when congressional democrats took over control of congress in 2007, the debt wa was $8.68 trillion. and it's now over $14 trillion. so when democrats are talking about what a bad situation they inherited, let's remember these
folks had been in charge of congress for the last four years. and they acted as though the bills on their spending would never come due. and like a college student who maxed out his parent's credit card, democrats are looking for someone to bail them out. unfortunately they're looking to the american taxpayers to foot the bill. this cannot happen. the american taxpayer is already overburdened. and citizens are not going to stand for tax hikes when spending restraint is called for. the bottom line simple, we cannot tax our way out of this problem. and i personally will resist any effort to do so. if one of the reasons i'm for a balanced budget constitutional amendment, i have found congress is incapable -- fiscally incapable of getting this mess under control. it's -- it's hard to believe that we're that incapable, but we are. and so we need to put some
restraints on congress. and the best way to do that, in my opinion, is a balanced budget amendment. i think that would be the best way. now, there are some who are looking at putting caps on spending. and that sounds good except for one thing. if you break the caps, you're going to increase taxes. i think we find ourselves increases taxes all the time around here and that's a big mistake as far as i'm concerned. so i'm very strongly for the balanced budget constitutional amendment. i believe with the mess we're in, good people on both sides of the aisle ought to be interested as well. now, last time i effectively brought up the bill as far as an amendment we had 66 votes in the senate, it passed the house overwhelmingly. if we had one more vote back in 1997, we would have had a different situation today. because the balanced budget constitutional amendment would have passed and i believe the 38
states would have ratified in a very quick fashion. certainly within a year or so. had that happened, we wouldn't be in the stinking mess we're in today. we're in a terrible mess. and one of the reasons is that congress can't get its fiscal house in order. and the reason they can't is because of what i just -- i've just been talking about. and i think it's going to take restraints that the balanced budget amendment would bring to force congress to have to live within its means or at least vote to break the budget. now, most -- most people who spend don't want that provision. because they know that when they vote to break the budget, their constituents are going to see that. and they may not be here the next election. so as much as i would prefer to not have any -- any artificial
approach, i've come to the conclusion that congress just plain cannot handle its own -- its own problems. it just doesn't have the fiscal restraint to do it. now, a balanced budget amendment would be a constitutional amendment locked into our beloved constitution that would, like all the states in this country, except vermont, require us to balance the budget or at least show a reason why not. and to vote. -- and to vote so that we have to vote on why not. germany has a balanced budget amendment and they meet those restraints. switzerland has a balanced budget amendment. they meet those restraints. if they can do it, why can't we? i think we've got to get real around here and start doing some things that will help save the country rather than push it right into bankruptcy.
and they come up with build america bonds. why do you think they do that. the government has been paying 35% on that. in other words, the federal government. guess who pace that 35% -- pays the 35%, all of the states that have lived with fiscal restraint will pay for the states that don't live with fiscal restraint. that's not the way to go. it's not fair to the states that are careful with their money. we know which states they are. in almost every case, they're states that are dominated by my friends on the other side. the fact is i'm totally opposed to that. now, they are willing to bring down the 35% the government -- of the government match to 28% in this budget, but think about
that. that's still 28% out of american taxpayers, most of whom, will have lived with fiscal restraint in his states to help states that have not and who probably won't. and as long as they can get free money from the government, why not in their eyes? now some of them are in such dire straits that even some of these governors who have been big liberals in the past are starting to say, we've got to do something about it. i'm going to pay particular praise to them. and i hope they will because their lack of fiscal restraint and our lack of fiscal restraint here is hurting our country. madam president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
mr. durbin: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. durbin: and to speak as if in morning business. madam president, the budget the president released monday includes more than $1 trillion
in deficit reduction and two-thirds of it come from spending cuts. that puts the nation on the path toward fiscal sustainability. but it also reflects the urgency to invest now in programs that will pay off for a long time. investing in transportation and infrastructure i think is the best way to ensure economic recovery now and economic growth well into the future. it's been two years since the president signed into law the american recovery and restoration act. the investments made in infrastructure over two years have either saved or created over a million jobs all across the nation. in the first year alone that recovery act led to 350,000 direct on-project jobs. direct job creation from these projects has resulted in payroll expenditures of over $4 billion. using this data the house transportation committee calculates that $717 million in unemployment checks have been
avoided as a result of this direct job creation. in his state of the union address, president obama challenged us to start rebuilding our infrastructure for the 21st century. our aging network of roads and rails were built from long time past. our infrastructure used to be the best. let's be honest, america's lost its lead. mongolia has a more advanced air traffic control system than america. south korea has faster and easier access to the internet than america. europe and china have high-speed rail systems far more advanced than america. dozens of commissions, academics, groups, the smartest people in america have all come to the same conclusion. our infrastructure is old, and we need to invest in fixing it. we have to reduce the debt and deficit. i was a member of the deficit commission. i understand it as well as anyone. but the american people don't want us to do this at the
expense of critical infrastructure that will be needed to grow our economy. unfortunately, the house republicans currently are in a debate on the floor of the house proposing that we cut off our investments in transportation, right in the middle of the year, right before the construction season. house republicans are debating that this week. their plan cuts billions in funding for roads, rail and mass transit. it's going to cost us over 300,000 private-sector jobs. 300,000-private-sector jobs. not government jobs. 300,000 jobs in the private sector. can we afford that? let me give examples of what the house republican budget cuts. cut the money for clean water state revolving loan fund, over $1 billion of it. that provides low-interest to no-interest loans to local communities to help them build and make safe waste water and
drinking water. most communities can't afford to do this on their own without raising property taxes through the roof. and e.p.a.'s funding is vital if these projects are going to get done. this cut alone by the house republicans would result in 454 fewer sewer projects, 214 fewer clean water projects across america. and it would cost us over 33,000 jobs. there was a program called the tiger grants. mayors know all about it. because what president obama said is we're going to cut out the middle man. we're not going through the state capitals and the state department of transportation. if a mayor comes to us with a good idea of a transportation project right at the local level, we're going to send that money directly in a tiger grant. so what did the house republicans decide to do? they took $1.1 billion from that program. that, unfortunately, would eliminate all funding for this program this year, cutting off this construction season.
$500 million worth of investment in our nation's infrastructure. worse, it rescinds $600 million for projects that have already been awarded. the department of transportation announced these projects last year. now the house republicans want to cut them off. communities in 40 states across the country have been planning for these funds for up to 75 projects, which would be absolutely abolished by the house republican action. the house proposal will literally take away funding promised for these projects, stopping work. cutting $1.1 billion from tiger programs will put more than 30,000 private-sector workers out of work in america. then they want to cut $7.1 billion for high-speed and internet, inner city passenger rail grants. i know ball that because, madam president, as you know, that route from st. louis to chicago on amtrak is one of the primary areas for high-speed rail in america. the republican proposal would
completely eliminate it, stop it cold. worse, they would rescind more than $6 billion for projects already awarded funding. they take away funding from 54 projects in 23 states across the country. the u.s. department of transportation tells us that cutting $7.1 billion from high-speed rail will put more than 200,000 private-sector jobs at risk. at a time when we should be creating jobs and building the economy and building the infrastructure for even more jobs to follow, the house republicans have decided to start cutting jobs in america. as the speaker said when asked about it, whether or not he was concerned about the loss of jobs from the house republican cuts, he said "so be it." i'm sorry, but the speaker's missed the obvious message from the american people. they want us to create jobs, preserve jobs right here in america. killing jobs in the u.s. house of representatives was not the
mission that anyone was sent on in the last election. compare that cutting with the president's budget. the president understands we've got to invest in infrastructure. the unemployment rate in the construction industry, private-sector industry is over 20%. construction costs at this moment are low, and local governments are moving forward where they can on projects because they're saving money. just at the same time the house republicans want to stop construction in america on these important projects. we need to make these investments in infrastructure. the president's budget calls for a six-year $556 billion reauthorization of national transportation systems. he front loads this six-year bill with a $50 billion infusement -- pardon me, investments in fiscal year 2012. this will help us get the biggest bang for the buck. he creates an infrastructure bank, $5 billion set aside to provide credit assistance and loans to attract private investment into public infrastructure. the president's investing $8.3
billion in high-speed rail. toepts bring that high-speed rail to 80% of the american population within 25 years. this is the first step in a long-term infrastructure investment by our country while the president still freezes spending, reduces the deficit and brings our domestic discretionary spending to a lower level than it was under president eisenhower in the 1950's. we can invest in infrastructure in a way that's fiscally responsible and will lead to fronger economic growth long into the future. the house is proposing slashing investments in transportation and infrastructure. that'll cost us jobs. that'll stop us from the economic recovery that we desperately need. we need to enact a balanced plan, cut spending, reduce the deficit, but remember that education, innovation, and infrastructure are critical if america is going to continue to be competitive in the 21st century.
madam president, i'd ask consent that the following statement be placed in a separate part in the record. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. durbin: madam president, employers in several states, including illinois, are facing an automatic tax increase if congress doesn't do something. that's right. businesses that are struggling in this recession face a federal tax coming their way if we don't act. i'm introducing a bill today that would prevent that. this is a time when we need to help businesses, small businesses in particular, to spend every dime they have on hiring people looking for work. here's why i'm introducing the bill. current law requires states that have overdrawn their unemployment insurance trust fund to raise taxes on employers to fill that deficit. the recession put tens of millions of americans out of work and the number of people who have bun able to find new work for more than six months is unpress denied in recent history. unemployment insurance has helped these families through a difficult time and it's been a good investment. it's money that when given to
the unemployed is quickly spent, back into the economy creating demands for goods and services. the congress am budget office ranks unemployment benefit paymentes as one of the most stimulative things that we can do to turn this economy around. so we know that it's good economics. that spend something going to help drive up demand for private company sales, which encourages them to hire more workers. but the ferocity of the economic downturn has strained the unemployment trust fund in many states. this has nothing to do with the operating deficits many states are facing. that's a bigger but unrelated problem. the u.i. trust fund can only be used to pay unemployment insurance and it is these trust funds that we need to return to solvency. that's what the act which he have a introduced -- which i've introduced will do. here's what it accomplishes. first it would waive the rirnlts -- waive the requirements that
states have higher taxes for the next two years. in my state, over $300 million over the next two years would be saved and it would save businesses nationwide between $8 billion ands 11 billion between niewntdz end of 2013. second, it would waive the interest payments that states would otherwise be required to pay for the next two years. that's going to save illinois $200 million in interest payments over the next two years. finally, it will give state governors, legislators, local employers working together greater flexibility in figuring out how to replenish their unemployment insurance trust fund. it would restructure their u.i. tax base and rates to fill any hole in the trust fund. second, seek forgiveness from the federal government for a portion that the states might owe to the trust fund in return for entering into a long-term
solvency plan with the dment of labor. or, third, maintain existing solvency that a state has already achieved for any higher federal u.i. interest payments a understand lower u.i. taxes for the employers. the president included a version of this proposal in his budget that he submitted to congress on monday. i commend him for it. with 13.9 million people out of work, $14 trillion in federal debt, we need to find creative solutions to solve problems facing workers and employers. this bill that i've introduced, cosponsored by senator jack reed of rhode island, and senator sherred are brown -- sherrod brown of ohio, is one that i think addressing this issue in a proper manner. it removes this burden on small businesses, a tax burden which can only hold them back from hiring people they need and reducing unemployment, and it gives to states that are hard-pressed because of other financial problems at least two years where they don't node pay the interest that they -- don't need to pay trt that they
borrowed for payment on the interest. this bill will prevent an immediate tax increase on employers. it ensures unemployment snurntion will be there when the workers need it and it does not raise the federal debt. i urge my colleagues to support it. madam president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. rockefeller: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia is recognized. and we're in a quorum call. mr. rockefeller: i ask unanimous consent the order of the quorum call be rescinded. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. rockefeller: i ask unanimous consent the senate resume consideration of the mccain amendment number 4 and proceed to a vote in relation to the mccain amendment, that being number 4. upon disposition of the mccain amendment, the senate resume consideration of the paul amendment number 18, there be four minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to the paul amendment number 18. that no amendments be in order to the amendments prior to the votes and the motions to
reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. the mccain amendment is now the pending question. the yeas and nays were previously ordered. the clerk will call the roll. the senator from texas. mrs. hutchison: i ask for the yeas and nays. mr. rockefeller: i move to table. mrs. hutchison: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be a sufficient second. and the clerk will call the roll on the motion to table.
under the previous order, the motion to reconsider is made and laid upon the table. under the previous order, there will now be four minutes of debate equally debated and divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 18 offered by the senator from kentucky, mr. paul. could we please have order in the chamber while mr. paul speaks. thank you. mr. paul. the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: thank you. this amendment will keep osha out of the cockpit. this amendment is not about safety. osha wants to get into the cockpit to add regulatory burden, but already the airlines voluntarily adhere to osha regulations. before you vote to brioche into the cockpit, you need to know
and remember that 20 airlines have gone bankrupt in the last ten years. do we want to add more regulatory burden? do we want to add more regulatory costs? the opposite side, the president included, have said they want less regulatory burden. here's your chance. you've got a small chance here. keep osha out of the cockpit. osha has 2,000 pages of rules. osha regulations cost the economy $50 billion. ronald reagan was talking about osha way back in 1976 when he commented on osha's 144 regulations with regard to climbing a ladder. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. forgive me, senator. mr. paul: 144 regulations about how to climb a ladder. number one among those regulations, remember to face the ladder when you're going to climb it. he also mentioned -- he a